tv Made in Germany - Human beings - just another product Deutsche Welle October 31, 2018 9:30am-10:00am CET
discover the i. subscribe to the documentary on you tube. moving the world. where we talk about rich people we often say she's worth one hundred million when disaster strikes we say the tragedy has cost more than one hundred lives the workforce of a company is often described as human capital wealth cost capital our language shows it we put a value on ourselves what is the value of a human being can we put
a number to it and if so what is that number how can it be quantified and is it the same figure for everyone that's what we're talking about today on made in germany the value of human me the value of human life. but turns out there are various ways to calculate a person's worth it's just a question of the stale use if you look at by a mosque for example you and i don't add up to much but if you apply different scale you could be worth millions. what's a human being worth. if you break down the body it's about sixty six percent water twenty percent carbon six percent oxygen and two percent ninety all told the elements in the human body are worth about ten euro. the body also contains some gold nickel and copper but in trace amounts too small to calculate so
in chemical terms that humans know more valuable than fish meat or autumn leaves in terms of organs however the body is a gold mine they're worth an estimated one point seven million euros. on the black market that is whether the donor would see any of that some is another matter some people's body parts are worth even more. soccer player cristiana rinaldo his legs for example are insured for one hundred forty million euros let's look at productivity as a measure. the term human capital was coined by economists to describe the economic value of human capacities. to some the term has connotations of slavery to others it reflects a progressive idea of employees as capital rather than expense what about
dependents and compensation how much can dependents be compensated if you lose your life in an accident or a disaster when that varies. the family of a policeman who died in the nine eleven terror attacks was paid eight hundred fifty thousand dollars in federal compensation. but the family of a stockbroker who perished received six million dollars on the grounds that the stockbroker earned more and would have continued to do so lost a future earnings in other words that's how capitalism works. and humans emotional words insurance companies can't put a price tag on that only our loved one's hand. now some people actually have made it that business to calculate a human being's worth because after a disaster for example a plane crash or a car accident any incident that costs human life compensation is often paid by
those responsible to the relatives of the victims that money has to be fairly distributed and that is what kenneth feinberg specializes in he spoke to our reporter liz ahead when you say you can't value a life with money you have a better idea this is how you compensate this is how you provide assistance to an innocent victim the stockbroker who gets hit by an automobile right here in washington will get his family will get more money then the waiter or the busboy who gets struck. down talk to me time and again dispute resolution expert kenneth feinberg has called in when a catastrophe has claimed many victims and lots of compensation money is at stake calculating the value of a life it might be one of the most an enviable tasks in the world. feinberg's
most high profile case so far involves the nine eleven terrorist attacks which killed nearly three thousand people in two thousand and one. feinberg was responsible for administering the money from the u.s. federal government september eleventh victim compensation fund but who was to get it and how much how do you calculate what a life is worth what would the victim have and overall work life but for nine eleven and something for pain and suffering emotional distress is the award what you need as a calculating machine not a law degree. sounds pretty cold isn't that system completely unfair i agree that it's unfair but everything about these funds is unfair what's fair about telling somebody well you lost your sister will give you three million
dollars because with calculated your sister's life or earnings. i mean don't expect people in grief emotionally vulnerable don't expect them ever to say mr feinberg thank you. as compensation fund administrator kenneth feinberg had sole discretion to decide who was eligible and how much they'd receive. it was a lot of power in the hands of one man. in germany bereaved families all get the same amount. after the boston marathon bombing he was in charge of administering about eighty million dollars. for the deepwater horizon oil rig explosion in the gulf of mexico he distributed twenty billion dollars feinberg says interacting with the suffering families is the
hard part i initially in nine eleven assume and i'm a lawyer i'll approach this as a lawyer would approach big mistake i should have approached it like in the boston marathon as a rabbi or a priest or psychiatry assist when i take on one of these societies it's brace yourself for the emotional tsunami feinberg has awarded compensation to thousands of surviving dependents that hasn't only made him friends the biggest criticism is that he has too much power without transparency and he's also been well compensated during the deepwater horizon settlement oil company b.p. paid his law firm over a million dollars a month in nine eleven i worked for the victims congress passed a law and i was working to help the victims and i did that pro bono patriotic you could get paid for that. in b.p. there was a dispute. and i was paid
a lot of people complained that even though i was independent i was really in the back pocket of b.p. the way you overcome that is by getting very generous money out to do or soon as you can find burghs work is far more than a job it's become a calling if the president of the united states calls and says can you know how to do this we need you we're going to tell him i'm busy can't do it. not comfortable. you're a citizen you want to give back to the country. you do it. well one way to determine a person's worth is very simple just take a look at that person's paycheck the value of your labor as one key measure of your was some countries define a lower limit on the value of your labor that's the minimum wage but if you end up in prison for example you might end up losing
a lot of that value. the inmates at this present are hard at work from seven in the morning until three in the afternoon five days a week. in most german states work is compulsory in prisons. and darts often in germany prison inmates are in one to three year olds an hour or that's well below the legal minimum wage it's the same here in this prison but is a system fair or are companies that outsource their manufacturing to prisons exploiting this cheap labor. here at the plaintiff or to present in lower saxony about two hundred seventy convicted criminals are held serving sentences ranging from months to years. their cells measure just ten square meters. all of the inmates here work. we ask
manuel how much he earns. to feel i'm in wage bracket for i get the highest rate in thirteen your eyes five all fifteen of these are created a day yes it's not much but it's a bit more than what the others get. confident is that enough and no it's not enough it could be more every month it's just never anonymous before. he works thirty five and a half hours a week. and earns three hundred euros a month. so just over two year as an hour. on the regular labor market the minimum wage in germany is eight years eighty four an hour. that's one thousand two hundred euros a month. that also allows for pension contributions. but prison inmates are officially excluded from the national pension system.
i have been eating with prison director on of even. the minimum wage doesn't apply to prison inmates that's a political decision i don't need to comment on that. but as prison director i can tell you that if the national minimum wage applied here we probably wouldn't have any work here at all to shift it's important for the prisoners to have something constructive to do just imagine if they had to spend seven days a week in their cells with only a few hours a day of activities for exercise we see a lot more unrest and aggression shifting. but it's also clear that outside companies are benefiting from the ready source of cheap labor the authorities here won't tell me which companies are working with us present. nationwide the firms
outsourcing work to prisons include mena lot and the seat. and dima. we want to know how these companies justify this massive undercutting of the minimum wage. most of those contacted gave a similar answers. it helps with rehabilitation and reintegration into society they say. companies simply pass the buck believing they're not responsible for the low wages. it's a political question. say it isn't for lawmakers. in twenty seventeen german companies paid over one hundred sixty million euros for work done in the country's prisons. and on one businessman he sees cheap prison labor as competition is quick he says outsourced production in prisons is destroying his business.
by gold has a packaging company based near hanover business used to be good and he had sixty employees now it's just him and his wife he's lost one customer after another. this time you say prisons are unfair competition why. some companies i've spoken to have told me outright that i just can't manufacture as cheaply as the prison's can. i can only speak for my line of business which is packaging where the ratio is about one to three. thousand so you're three times as expensive as present. right so of course i'm out of the running to put it bluntly they're using convicted criminals to work for them at rates that are criminal on the free market if you don't pay the minimum wage and you don't pay pension contributions and v eighty then you're taken to court and penalized i don't
see how you're hoping someone reintegrate into society if you're basically exploiting them. his frustration is clear after all it's his livelihood that's at stake. the prisoners can make purchases with their wages but their money doesn't go very far young christian has been behind bars since early this year. in france i have forty one year olds left after i've paid my share of the electricity and other bills on the phone fortunately i don't drink coffee coffee here is very expensive which is hard for people who need both coffee and cigarettes extreme. how much do you have left after that. just enough to get through the month. he's also required to put some money aside for when he gets out. was to stem this to what's more important to passing the time or
earning money. for me personally it's more about making my time here go faster than earning a wage to me but it's hard to compare the two i can't really compare them because of course you want to have some money too so the wage is just as important in a way but right now it's more about passing the time with the gives me a better job i. after a day's work the prisoners go back to their cells as for me my work day is over two . i'm left feeling grateful for my freedom and for being able to choose the work that i do. this painting here that you see here behind me is sold for four hundred fifty million dollars last year it was painted by leonardo da vinci school sold out on monday and is the most expensive piece of art ever sold you know not of himself was not
a poor man but the value of his works only rose astronomically hundreds of years after his death this is the same as many artists live today in precarious circumstances and the capricious art market puts little value on an artist's current life. and i think that painting is the right place for someone who is both sensitive and ruthless and someone who doesn't care if they make their parents happy and more if they are in money than them it.
daniel covers plastic films in paint and creates collages with them. a single work can take him weeks to complete sometimes even months. and financially i never look past next month you know that sometimes ok and sometimes less so kind of means no holidays away and but the threat of a hardy and old age. then the one in the rewards of painting or in painting itself yeah having the freedom to live our lives such a way that we devote ourselves to find our film internet there's an ecstasy and joy in that and in doing the right thing pointing north with the sky pond. contracts and bells financial matters can track you back to earth as an artist life
is usually hunting mouth for all those who can't crack the commercial side of the art world and daniel has problems with the notion of marketing himself and money his paintings cost upwards of fifteen hundred euros a piece he usually only sells five or six in a year and often need state welfare to supplement his income. the german capital has become a magnet for artists from all over the world. but a few artists do make it big like those who exhibit at one of the eigen plus parts
galleries. overt get have a look represent some of the biggest names in german contemporary art like neo i'm just going on the best thing as a young artist is to open your own gallery or several join together to do it. we don't take on new artists are such little and it's more a case of don't call us we'll call you that often. if something catches the team's attention or if one of our artists says hey check this out with one then we'll check it out. but we don't have time to look through all the applications that arrive here. for tony all the freedom to create the art he wants is more important than profiting from it so far he sold his pictures more or less by chance to friends family and a few collected for. the freedom to do what i want my son is the most precious thing i have of course passed from him and so i'm willing to accept
can't necessarily compete with the others like it's everyone else does. nothing is ever for free not even death because that will cost you your life and then some here in germany dying will set you back up to six thousand euros and there's a thriving business around everything mortal by colleagues of mine took a closer look at the business of death. as i mean the place never really thought much about coffee and. definitely not. pine wood individually decorated coolness of rectangular walnut birch. totally italian style solid wood which i like. most of the coffins here
cost between one and three thousand euros. less that is not crucial if i were picking one for my own burial i'd be asking how much am i worth. or if it's for one of my loved ones what are they worth to me should i shell out one two or three thousand euro's and cards when i have not had to ask myself that question so far but it's one that everyone probably has to ask at some point. what are we worth when we die. this funeral home has been dealing with death since one thousand nine hundred sixty one fabiani lensing who heads the family business says the funeral i've picked would cost three and a half thousand euros the price reflects not just the coffin and the flowers i've chosen but also the fact that lensing is available around the clock.
as it's misconstrued with sometimes we spend five hours with a client and discussing all the details that we might work on the text for the death announcement or on the decorations of the funeral service the music there are lots of details and i think you can only do them justice by discussing them in person. because anything is pretty good. undertakers are often criticised for charging too much the bereaved tend not to haggle. with the p.r. involved as his company can offer funerals thirty percent cheaper with no hidden costs the berlin startup has raised millions from investors the purchasing and planning processes have been digitalized customers can select everything on their computers or via telephone hotline that way they can see how much each item costs and what the total price will be. as an exception i get
a personal consultation here the same package i'd picture earlier would cost around six hundred euros less. than half credit if because people don't really have a sense of what it costs we made a video about that we went out and asked people what they thought of funeral costs and the answers ranged from five thousand to fifteen thousand euros or much more we heard everything that comes out of this other the la times so people don't know what a fair price would be yes exactly i don't think they have any sense of what the right price might be but if the up prices go up. death is big business. in germany about nine hundred thousand people die each year with funeral revenues totaling two billion euros it's a market that conventional full service undertakers like fabienne benson are having to share with more and more new competitors and. here he is making the final preparations in the chapel before the mourners his clients arrive he says his
company's image has less to do with pricing than its reputation for reliability. and he says he can't compete with startups that have the backing of big investors. instances. these are often institutional investors that put money into lots of things of their like we'll see maybe a little paranoia maybe at work that market leads to a distortion of the market for the smaller businesses that might not have the resources to keep up with prices like that squeezed out. digitalisation is changing things in his industry. true most people still prefer to hire undertakers to guide them personally through the funeral process rather than plan the event themselves on their computers. but i'm convinced that for my generation that will have changed when our time comes.
well thomas come that's all for today before you go though a personal note here i made in germany we had intense discussions about all topics today how much any human is worth if you can actually put a number to it and here is what we all agreed on. so in ethical terms it's impossible to calculate what a human being is worse rich or poor in the ways that matter we're all the same economic logic and human dignity just can't be weighed on the same scale. well there you have it. the be. the be. the be. the be. the be.
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